A 2021 Guide to the Best Indiana Veteran Benefits
In addition to the federal benefits available to all eligible U.S. military veterans regardless of location, Indiana offers additional benefits and exemptions for veterans and their families.
Indiana veteran benefits are available to the more than 320,000 veterans who make their home in the Hoosier State (about 8% of the population).
- A 2021 Guide to the Best Indiana Veteran Benefits
- What are the top Indiana veteran benefits?
- Tax-Related Indiana Veteran Benefits
- Indiana Veteran Benefits: $14,000 Property Tax Deduction
- Wartime Indiana Disabled Veteran Benefits for Property Tax Deductions
- Indiana Veteran Income Tax Deduction for Military Service Pay
- Retired Indiana Veteran Income Tax Deduction
- Indiana Nonresident Military Spouse Earned Income Deduction
- Indiana Disabled Veteran Retired Pay Income Tax Deduction
- Indiana Veteran Benefits Include a Deduction for Property Received from Tax-Exempt Organizations
- Education-Related Indiana Veteran Benefits
- Indiana Veteran Benefits For Employment
- Women Indiana Veterans
- Indiana Veterans Health Care
- Indiana Veteran Benefits for Vehicle and Driver Licensing
- Indiana Veteran Plate
- Indiana Disabled Hoosier Veteran Plate
- Active Duty/Indiana Veteran/Surviving Spouse Indicator for Indiana Driver License or ID Card
- Indiana Military Commercial Driver License (CDL) Military Skills Waiver Program
- Indiana Disabled Veteran Benefits Include Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption
- Indiana Veteran Benefits For Recreation
- Indiana Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing Licenses
- Indiana Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Are there tax exemptions or deductions available to Indiana veterans?
- Is there educational assistance available to disabled veterans’ families?
- Does Indiana offer special resources for Indiana women veterans?
- Are there Indiana veteran benefits for those undergoing financial hardship?
- Are there special license plates available to Indiana veterans and their families?
- Do Indiana veteran benefits include special state parks and recreation privileges?
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What are the top Indiana veteran benefits?
Indiana veteran benefits specifically include:
- Property tax exemptions
- Education and training programs
- Employment assistance
- Resources for women veterans
- Statewide healthcare facilities
- Vehicle and driver license recognition and discounts
- Discounts to state parks
- Sportsman’s discounts
- Emergency financial assistance
A veteran’s (or service member’s) military branch, career status, disability status, and residence status can affect benefit eligibility.
The Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs administers many of the Indiana veterans benefits and programs. This is a great place to learn about your state and federal benefits or get help with claims and applications.
Read on for the ultimate guide to the top Indiana veteran benefits for 2021!
Tax-Related Indiana Veteran Benefits
Do Indiana veterans receive any tax benefits unique to their state? Yes! Indiana offers veterans and disabled veterans several tax deductions for property, military pay, and retirement income.
All Indiana veterans may deduct $14,000 from the value of their home before calculating property taxes. Wartime Indiana veterans may deduct even more–nearly $25,000!
Indiana Veteran Benefits: $14,000 Property Tax Deduction
Indiana veterans may be able to deduct $14,000 from the assessed value of their property if:
- They served in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least 90 days, received an honorable discharge, and have a total disability, or
- They’re at least 62 years old (and with a disability of at least 10%).
The assessed value of the property may not exceed $200,000.
Required disability evidence:
- Pension certificate or award of compensation issued by VA, or
- Certificate of eligibility issued by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs after determining that the veteran’s disability and service dates qualify to receive a deduction
The surviving spouse of an individual may receive this deduction if:
- The veteran was eligible for the deduction at the time of death, or
- The veteran was killed in action or died while serving active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or while performing inactive duty training in the Armed Forces.
If an individual is eligible for the above deductions but does not own property, a credit for vehicle excise tax may be taken, either in the amount determined by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or $70, whichever is less. The maximum number of vehicles an individual may claim is two. Request an affidavit from the county auditor and take it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to receive the credit.
Wartime Indiana Disabled Veteran Benefits for Property Tax Deductions
Veterans may be able to deduct $24,960 from the assessed value of a property if they served in the U.S. Armed Forces during any of its wars, received an honorable discharge, and have a service-connected disability of 10% or more.
Eligible wartime service includes:
- World War II, Dec. 7, 1941-Dec. 31, 1946
- Korea, Jun. 21, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955
- Vietnam, Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975
- Gulf War, Aug. 2, 1990-present (or a date to be determined by Congress)
A veteran’s surviving spouse may receive this deduction if the veteran was eligible at the time of death. The spouse must apply in his or her own name.
If the property’s assessed value is less than the deduction, the overage can be applied toward the excise tax on veteran license plates at the rate of $2 per each $100 of deduction.
Indiana Veteran Income Tax Deduction for Military Service Pay
An Indiana veteran may take a tax deduction if the income reported on the income tax return includes active or reserve military pay.
Also, retired veterans or surviving spouses may be able to take this deduction if they:
- Are 60 years old by the end of the year
- Receive military retirement (or survivor’s benefits) during the year, and
- Report all their benefits as retirement income on their federal return
This deduction is equal to the actual amount of military income received (e.g. military pay, retirement pay, survivor’s benefits) or $5,000, whichever is less. If both husband and wife received military income, they may each claim the deduction (for a maximum of $10,000).
Military income earned while in a combat zone may be exempt (not taxed) on the federal income tax return. If so, it will also be exempt (not taxed) in Indiana. However, your combat zone income is then not eligible for a deduction.
Retired Indiana Veteran Income Tax Deduction
Retired Indiana veterans (or surviving spouse) get an adjusted gross income tax deduction totaling $6,250 plus:
- For taxable years beginning in 2021, 75% of the amount of the benefits in excess of $6,250
- For taxable years beginning in 2022 and beyond, 100% of the amount of the benefits
Note: You may be eligible for this deduction in addition to the deduction listed under the Military Service Pay income tax deduction (above).
Indiana Nonresident Military Spouse Earned Income Deduction
A service member’s spouse may retain the same address for state tax purposes throughout the marriage if:
- Indiana is not the service member’s residence as reported on Form DD-2058
- The service member and spouse are residents of the same state
- The service member is in Indiana on military orders
- The spouse is in Indiana to live with the service member and resides at the same address, and
- The Indiana-source earned income is included on Indiana Schedule A on line 1B, 2B or 7B.
Earned income for this deduction includes:
- Wages, salaries, tips, and other compensation from Indiana sources, or
- Income from a sole proprietorship (reported on federal Schedule C or C-EZ) from Indiana sources
To determine eligibility for the claim, complete the Indiana Department of Revenue, Nonresident Military Spouse Earned Income Deduction, Schedule IN-2058SP.
Indiana Disabled Veteran Retired Pay Income Tax Deduction
Indiana disabled veteran retirees receiving disability retirement pay may be eligible to subtract up to $5,200 of their payments from gross income.
To qualify, the Indiana disabled veteran must have:
- Been permanently and totally disabled at the time of retirement
- Retired on disability before the end of the tax year; and
- Received disability retirement income in the tax year.
A physician’s statement must accompany the deduction sheet for each person claiming the deduction. The amount subtracted is limited to the amount of disability pay received or $100/week, whichever is less. Also, this may have to be reduced by part of the retiree’s federal adjusted gross income.
Spouses may also be eligible to subtract up to $5,200 of disability payments (for a maximum of $10,400) if the couple files a joint return and the spouse meets all of the above requirements.
Please view Indiana Department of revenue, Disability Retirement Deduction, Schedule IT-2440 and Indiana Department of Revenue, Information Bulletin #70 for more information.
Indiana Veteran Benefits Include a Deduction for Property Received from Tax-Exempt Organizations
For property conveyed to an Indiana veteran at no cost to the veteran, by an organization that is exempt from income taxation under the federal Internal Revenue Code, a veteran may claim a deduction from the assessed value of a homestead if the veteran:
- served honorably during any period of wartime (for at least 90 days) and
- has a service-connected disability rating of at least 50%
The deduction rates match the service-connected disability rating. For instance, if the veteran is 100% disabled, the deduction is 100% of the assessed value. If the veteran is 90% disabled, then the deduction is 90%, and so on.
Education-Related Indiana Veteran Benefits
The Hoosier State offers several programs for Indiana veterans and service members (and their families) who seek tuition and education support.
Financial Aid for Indiana Veterans, Service Members, and Families
Active military service members and Indiana veterans (and their families) benefit from several educational benefits. (Eligibility and application instructions can be found in the links below).
This program provides regularly assessed fees for children of deceased or disabled veterans. Program funding is limited to 124 credit hours and may be used at the undergraduate and professional degree levels.
Regularly assessed fees for Children of Purple Heart recipients or wounded Indiana veterans: Funding is limited to 124 credit hours and may be used at the undergraduate and professional degree levels.
This grant provides 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees for a child or spouse of a member of the Indiana National Guard who suffered a service-connected death while on active duty. Funding is limited to 124 credit hours and may be used at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.
Provides 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees for Indiana veterans and Purple Heart recipients. Funding is limited to 124 credit hours and may be used at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.
This program provides 100% of tuition to former students or graduates of Morton Memorial High School (and former residents of the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s home). Funding is limited to a maximum of 124 credit hours and may be used at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.
Indiana Veteran Benefits and Resources for Education Include ScholarTrack
If you have questions or want to know more about Indiana veteran benefits for educational financial aid, visit the ScholarTrack website.
Once you create an account, you can:
- Apply for state financial aid, such as the 21st Century Scholarship and the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship
- Complete your Scholar Success Program activities (both high school and college)
- Check the status of your FAFSA, college credit completion, and more
- See what financial aid you’re offered from the state
- Submit and view appeals
- Access additional college and career success resources
You can create an account here.
Or, if you prefer, contact:
Indiana Army National Guard
ATTN: Education Services Office
2002 S. Holt Road
Indianapolis, Ind. 46241
Indiana Veteran Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training
The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) recognizes the importance of providing quality educational and training opportunities to veterans. Within IDVA, the State Approving Agency (SAA) administers and approves both educational and vocational programs for veterans. The SAA and IDVA share the same goal: supporting the education and development of Indiana veterans.
Apprenticeship programs offer on-the-job training coupled with theoretical related instruction. A veteran can receive GI Bill benefits while working full-time and earning wages. Program registration with the Department of Labor is not mandatory (but is recommended in order to receive journeyman papers upon successful completion).
Typical apprenticeship programs are for: carpenters, electricians, plumbers, tool-and-die makers, machinists, mechanics, ironworkers, etc.
On-the-job training (OJT) allows an Indiana veteran to learn on the job, earn wages, and receive GI Bill benefits. OJT programs can run from six months to a maximum of two years. Established pay schedules must be followed. Some examples of OJT programs are for police officers, firefighters, deputy sheriffs, and jailers.
The IDVA/SAA approves training programs at all public and private colleges, barber schools, beauty schools, medical programs, on-the-job training programs, apprenticeship programs, real estate schools, other non-college degree programs, and flight schools.
Generally, Indiana veterans may use their GI Bill benefits for ten years after separation from active duty. National Guard and Reservists may also be eligible.
To determine eligibility, phone the Department of Veteran Affairs Regional Processing Office at 888-442-4551.
The SAA approves new programs weekly. If a program you desire is not listed, notify the SAA to explore the possibility of approval. Direct questions to:
Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs
State Approving Agency
302 W. Washington St., Rm. W-469
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204-2738
Phone: 317-234-6062 / 800-400-4520 ext. 6062
Email: [email protected]
Indiana Resident Tuition for Nonresident Veterans
A qualified nonresident veteran who enrolls in a state educational institution (not later than 12 months after honorable discharge or separation) may do so at resident rates.
A veteran may also be eligible for resident rates after one year from discharge if they:
- Registered to vote in Indiana OR
- Obtained an Indiana driver’s license (or state ID card) OR
- Registered a motor vehicle OR
- Gained other proof of residency (as approved by the Commission of Higher Education)
A qualified veteran served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Indiana National Guard and received an honorable discharge (or is currently serving in the Indiana National Guard).
High School Diplomas for Indiana Veterans
Indiana veterans who served between:
- Apr. 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918 (World War I)
- Dec. 7, 1941, to Dec. 31, 1946 (World War II)
- Jun. 27, 1950, to Jan. 31, 1955 (Korean War)
- Aug. 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War)
may apply to the IDVA for issuance of a high school diploma if they:
- attended any high school in Indiana before military service
- were a student in good standing
- did not graduate or receive a diploma due to military service
- were honorably discharged
Veterans and their surviving spouses and eligible family members may apply to the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
Indiana Veteran Benefits For Employment
There are several ways Indiana supports veterans (and their families) seeking employment.
Indiana Veterans and Voluntary Hiring Preferences for Private Employers
A private employer may grant preference to Indiana veterans regarding hiring, promotion, or retention. The policy must be in writing and applied uniformly to employment decisions regarding hiring, promotion, or retention.
Hiring Preferences for Indiana Veterans in State Employment
Indiana veteran benefits include preference in hiring for state government employment. Indiana veterans are awarded 10% of the total points possible.
To be eligible, the Indiana veteran must have:
- Served active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (for at least 181 days)
- an honorable discharge
Indiana Veteran Employment Assistance
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development provides services to Indiana veterans. Through the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and the Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER), Workforce Development offices throughout the state are equipped to assist Indiana veterans in transition from military to civilian life.
The DVOP specializes in tailored training and job placement opportunities for Indiana disabled veterans. LVERs coordinate services provided to Indiana veterans, including counseling, testing, and identifying training and employment opportunities.
Peddler, Vendor, and Hawker License for Indiana Veterans
An honorably discharged veteran is entitled to a free license to vend, hawk, and peddle goods, wares, fruits, and merchandise in Indiana by presenting a certificate and papers of discharge to the auditor of any county and proving identity.
The license is subject to all county, city, or town regulations and ordinances, except for those requiring a payment or fee for obtaining a license.
Women Indiana Veterans
Nearly 32,000 Hoosiers are Indiana women veterans who served in every war from World War II to the present day.
Indiana veteran benefits extend to women and may especially address women, yet women veterans often are unaware of the benefits and services available to them.
The Hoosier Women Veterans Registry is an informational bridge connecting women veterans to the numerous resources and Indiana veteran benefits available. The registry is strictly confidential and used only as a link of information among the women Indiana veteran population.
Email, fax, or mail the completed form to:
Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs
302 W. Washington St., RM E120
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
Phone: (317) 232-3910
Fax: (317) 232-7721
Email: [email protected]
Indiana Veterans Health Care
The Hoosier State provides a Regional Benefits Office, VA medical centers, special benefits, and specialized advisors and counselors to assist Indiana veterans and disabled veterans with health care worthy of their service.
Indiana National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury or Illness, Disability Compensation, and Death Benefits
Indiana National Guard members on state active duty are entitled to medical coverage, compensation (for disabilities), pension (for survivors in the event of the service member’s death), and a funeral allowance.
When Indiana National Guard members are injured, disabled, or contract a disease that temporarily prevents them from pursuing their usual business or occupation, they receive the pay they’d be entitled to while on or assembled for duty (plus any necessary expenses for care and medical attention).
With proof of the disability, the Indiana National Guard member receives from the Indiana state treasury the same pension or reward that a person under similar circumstances would receive from the United States. In case of death, the surviving spouse, dependent children, or dependent parent receives the pension and reward.
If an Indiana Guard member dies in the active service of the state, funeral expenses (not exceeding $8,800) are paid by the state as the governor directs.
Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) for Indiana Veterans
The Military Family Relief Fund is available to all Indiana veterans who served on active duty during a national conflict or wartime period.
MFRF grants (up to $2,500) may be used by the Indiana veterans’ families for food, housing, utilities, medical services, transportation, and other essentials that a family may find difficult to afford.
An MFRF COVID-19 emergency grant may be used on a case-by-case basis by families for up to two months of household needs such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, child care, and other essentials made challenging to afford due to the coronavirus pandemic. The hardship must be a reasonable and logical consequence of COVID-19. Applicants are not required to be wartime veterans, and those approved for a previous standard MFRF grant are also eligible for the COVID-19 emergency funds.
Note: The director of the Indiana DVA may waive the requirements for emergency cases, upon written request explaining the circumstances that justify the waiver.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Indiana resident
- 12 months of qualifying service
- Honorable discharge
- Service during a recognized time of war or national conflict (except for the COVID-19 MFRF)
- Federal gross income may not exceed two times the U.S Federal Poverty Guidelines, or
- Veterans must have written documentation proving that their job has been affected by COVID-19 (e.g., a letter from an employer or a letter from a supplier)
- Proof of hardship as a result of COVID-19 (e.g., a letter from an employer on official letterhead detailing a period in which the veteran will lose income as a result of COVID-19)
- The applicant’s hardship must be a reasonable and logical consequence of service in the U.S. Armed Forces or Indiana National Guard OR due to COVID-19
- The hardship directly impacts the applicant’s most basic living needs
Applicants must fill out the MFRF packet completely and provide the following documents:
- Statement letter signed by the veteran explaining the situation and how the military contributed to the hardship
- Current bills, invoices, estimates, etc.
- Most recent monthly bank statement
- Evidence of income (pay stubs, VA compensation, SSA, retirement, cash assistance, unemployment, etc.)
- Prior year W2
- Most recent tax return
- Evidence of assets
Submit the completed MFRF packet to:
Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs
ATTN: Military Family Relief Fund
302 W. Washington St., Room E-120
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
Applications and documentation may also be faxed to 317-232-7721.
For more information, contact MFRF staff at 317-232-3910 or email [email protected].
Indiana Veteran Benefits for Vehicle and Driver Licensing
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) offers 19 distinctive specialty license plates to honor the service of Indiana veterans, Indiana disabled veterans, and their qualifying family members. Specific eligibility and documentation requirements will apply. All plates may be placed on passenger cars, trucks up to 11,000 pounds, motorcycles, auto-cycles, and recreational vehicles.
The State of Indiana also recognizes military service and experience for commercial driver licenses, and with certain tax exemptions and fee waivers.
Indiana Veteran Plate
Any honorably discharged Indiana veteran can purchase a Hoosier Veteran license plate. Simply take a DD-214 or discharge certificate to a local BMV office and request the special plate. There is a $15 charge.
Indiana Disabled Hoosier Veteran Plate
Indiana disabled veteran benefits include a Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate for private, personal use. The veteran must meet one of these conditions:
- Lost sight in both eyes (or suffered permanent impairment of vision in both eyes)
- Lost one or both feet (or the use of either or both)
- Lost one or both hands (or the use of either or both)
- A VA disability rating for a physical condition that prevents walking without pain or difficulty
- A VA disability rating of at least 50% with service-related compensation from the VA. (At least 60% of the disability rating under this subdivision must be attributable to a mobility disability.)
An application for a Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate must be accompanied by a certificate from:
- the VA or
- an appropriate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces confirming eligibility
An Indiana disabled veteran who has been issued or is eligible for the Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate can obtain a permanent DHV parking placard from the Indiana BMV. This placard affords the same parking privileges as the Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate. Indiana disabled veterans may obtain a plate or placard for each registered vehicle they own.
Other specialized plates available to Indiana veterans and their families include:
- Purple Heart
- Support Our Troops
- Gold Star Family
- Prisoner of War/Missing In Action (current POWs/MIAs)
All plates may be purchased through the mail or at a local BMV branch. All plates except the Hoosier Veteran, Gold Star Family, and Prisoner of War/Missing In Action plates must be applied for through the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. The Hoosier Veteran plate does not require an application form as the others do. For more information on each plate, see eligibility for veteran license plates.
The application form may be downloaded and either mailed, faxed or brought to the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs; phone numbers and the address are on the form.
Applications may also be completed in person at:
Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs
302 W. Washington St., Room E120
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
Call ahead to ensure an approving authority will be available: in the Indianapolis area, (317) 232-3910; toll-free in Indiana, (800) 400-4520.
Active Duty/Indiana Veteran/Surviving Spouse Indicator for Indiana Driver License or ID Card
Active-duty service members, Indiana veterans, and surviving spouses may choose to have an indicator placed on their driver’s license or ID Card—a “V” on the back of the card for veterans, an “AM” for active service members, and a “VS” for surviving spouses.
An Indiana veteran must provide a DD214 or other document to the Indiana BMV verifying honorable separation. Active-duty service members must present a current Common Access Card (CAC) during issuance or renewal. For a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran to obtain the “VS” indicator, the spouse needs proof of the veteran’s discharge or separation, a marriage certificate, and a death certificate of the deceased veteran.
If the indicator is added when the card is being renewed or newly issued, there is no charge. If the indicator is added to an existing card or license, there is a fee to amend the credentials.
Indiana Military Commercial Driver License (CDL) Military Skills Waiver Program
The Indiana BMV may waive the required skills test for veterans or active-duty personnel who were truck drivers during military service, if the applicant applies within one year of military discharge and meets all requirements.
All applicants must pass the required written test, prove that they are (or were) regularly employed in a military position requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within one year, and certify that during the two years immediately preceding the application they met the following requirements:
- Had no more than one license (except for a military license)
- Never had a license suspended, revoked, or canceled
- Had no convictions for any type of motor vehicle for disqualifying offenses
- Had not more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations
- Had no conviction for a violation of military, state, or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) in connection with any traffic accident, and no record of an accident in which they were at fault
- Was operating a vehicle similar to the CMV that the applicant operates or expects to operate
- Visit an Indiana BMV branch, pass required written tests, and have Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) issued
- Complete, save, and print the Application for Military CDL Skills Test Waiver form
- Obtain the applicant’s commanding officer signature attesting to the applicant’s military driving experience
- Provide copy of DD214 (or proof of current active duty)
- Provide letter from commander stating applicant has operated a CMV for at least two years immediately preceding discharge
To submit the completed application packet, fax 317-974-1615, drop documents off at any Indiana BMV branch, or mail to:
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn: CDL Programs
100 N. Senate Ave.
IGCN, Room N 481
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
Indiana Disabled Veteran Benefits Include Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption
Eligible Indiana disabled veterans may claim a motor vehicle tax credit on a vehicle they own. Any unused portion after the application to residence property (see Property Tax Exemption) applies next to personal property, and lastly as an excise tax credit on either a motor vehicle or aircraft. The excise tax is reduced by $2 for each $100 of taxable value.
To take advantage of this tax exemption, an Indiana disabled veteran must meet the following requirements:
- Service in the U.S. Armed Forces during any of its wars and an honorable discharge
- A service-connected disability of 10% or more as indicated by a pension certificate, award letter of compensation, disability compensation check issued by VA, or a certificate of eligibility issued by the Indiana DVA, or
- Service of at least 90 days, an honorable discharge, and either totally disabled or 62 years old with a disability rating of at least 10%
- Not own another real estate property to which the tax deduction may be applied.
- Assessed property value no more than $200,000.
Surviving spouses may qualify for this exemption if the deceased Indiana veteran would have been eligible for this credit or previously received a credit under this section.
A disabled veteran (or spouse) may claim two vehicles for this tax credit (max. excise tax liability $70). You may not claim a vehicle credit and a property tax credit at the same time.
Indiana Veteran Benefits For Recreation
Indiana veterans headed for the Hoosier State’s beautiful outdoors may be eligible for reduced license costs and recreational fees.
Hoosier Golden Passport for Indiana Veterans
A Hoosier Golden Passport provides Indiana veterans unlimited admission to all Indiana state parks, recreation areas, reservoirs, and forests. (Not valid for historic sites, museums, memorials, and other Department of Natural Resources facilities.) The pass costs $25 and is good for one year.
Indiana disabled veterans eligible for a Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate may purchase the Hoosier Golden Passport at DNR facilities around the state at a 50% discount. If you have Disabled Hoosier Veteran plates on your vehicle, you may drive to the gate, and the attendant will sell you the Hoosier Golden Passport. If you do not have the plate on the vehicle, you can show state form 32584, signed by the Indiana DVA, to verify your eligibility.
Former prisoners of war will receive their Hoosier Golden Passport in the mail after their plates are issued. If you do not receive yours in a reasonable time, or have other plates on your vehicle but are entitled to POW plates, call the Department of Natural Resources at (800) 622-4931.
Indiana Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Any Indiana service-connected disabled veteran resident may purchase a license to hunt and fish in Indiana for a reduced fee.
The disabled veteran must complete the form and instructions or go to the following locations:
- County Veteran Service Offices
- Department of Natural Resource Customer Service Center (402 W. Washington St., Room W160A, Indianapolis, Ind. 46204, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
- Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (302 W. Washington St., Suite E120, Indianapolis, Ind. 46204, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday)
For current hunting and fishing regulations, visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.
Indiana Disabled Veterans Reduced-Fee Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Indiana disabled veterans (service-connected by the VA) may purchase a license to hunt and fish in Indiana for the reduced fee of $2.75, or a 10-year Indiana DAV license for $27.50.
To get the Indiana disabled veteran license, fill out the application form (available from County Veteran Service Offices or online). Include your VA file number. Send the application, payment, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
DNR Customer Service Center
402 W. Washington St., Room W160
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204
Your signed and sealed certified application will be returned to you within two weeks. (Retain for future use). Once you receive your certified application, you may use it or your previous license to purchase future licenses and eliminate delay. Just show the license (or certified application) to the vendor for proof of your eligibility.
*Note: The Indiana disabled veteran license is good for small-game hunting and fishing only. Waterfowl, trout, salmon, deer, and turkey stamps are available at the regular rate.
For more information, call the Indiana DNR at (317) 232-4200 or the Indiana DVA at (317) 232-3910.
Indiana Veterans’ Home
The Indiana Veterans’ Home (IVH) in West Lafayette offers skilled long-term nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, independent living, and memory-care services for Indiana veterans. Residents enjoy amenities such as the library and media center, gardens, crafts and hobbies, a chapel, beauty shop, transportation services, and a full schedule of recreation and activities.
Excellent nursing care, along with board-certified physicians and onsite specialty care, includes:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech and hearing therapy
- Respiratory therapy
To be eligible, a veteran must be:
- Honorably discharged
- An Indiana resident for at least one year immediately preceding application for admission (residency waivers may apply for service members who enlisted from, or discharged to, the State of Indiana)
- Cleared through a criminal background check conducted by the IVH
The IVH also accepts Gold Star parents.
Indiana Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are there tax exemptions or deductions available to Indiana veterans?
Yes! The state includes at least seven different tax breaks among Indiana veteran benefits (depending on how you count them). This includes a special deduction for Indiana disabled veterans with wartime service, another for Indiana veterans with 90 days of service, a deduction for military service pay, retired Indiana disabled veteran benefits on taxes, and more!
Is there educational assistance available to disabled veterans’ families?
Indiana offers a generous array of tuition assistance programs to children and spouses of disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients and their children, and the children and spouse of an Indiana National Guard member killed in the line of duty. Learn more about financial aid for Indiana veterans and their families.
Does Indiana offer special resources for Indiana women veterans?
Yes! Indiana’s DVA reaches out to Indiana women veterans, providing the Hoosier Women Veterans Registry as an informational bridge to connect them to numerous resources and benefits.
Are there Indiana veteran benefits for those undergoing financial hardship?
The Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) grants Indiana veterans with wartime service up to $2,500 for necessities such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, transportation, and other essentials the family may find difficult to afford. Additionally, an MFRF COVID-19 emergency grant may be made (on a case-by-case basis) to families for up to two months of household needs such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, child care, and other essentials made difficult to afford due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants are not required to be wartime veterans, and those approved for a previous standard MFRF grant are still eligible for COVID-19 emergency funds.
Are there special license plates available to Indiana veterans and their families?
Yes! Indiana offers 19 distinctive vehicle license plates to honor the service and sacrifice of service members, veterans, retirees, and eligible family members. This includes designations for disabled veterans, POWs, Gold Star families, and more.
Additionally, veterans with a Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate can obtain a permanent DHV parking placard for each vehicle they own. This placard affords the same parking privileges as the Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate.
Do Indiana veteran benefits include special state parks and recreation privileges?
The Hoosier Golden Passport provides Indiana veterans unlimited admission to all Indiana state parks, recreation areas, reservoirs, and forests. The pass costs $25 and is good for one year. Veterans eligible for a Disabled Hoosier Veteran license plate may purchase the Hoosier Golden Passport at DNR facilities around the state at a 50% discount.
Any Indiana disabled veteran resident may purchase a license for small-game hunting and fishing in Indiana for a reduced fee.
For answers to more questions, visit the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)–so you can increase your rating in less time! If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied, have received a low rating–or you’re not sure how to get started–reach out to us! You served … you deserve.
Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Strategy Session with an experienced veteran coach. Learn what you’ve been missing–so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve! We’ve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.
About the Author
About VA Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.